Looking back on 2015 (another belated Year In Review)

Bondi sunrise

Happy 2016!

The last couple of years I’ve really struggled to get going in January; I haven’t wanted to let go of the old and embrace the new – but not this year. While 2015 was a good year for me, I was well and truly ready for 2016 to kick off by the time the end of the December rolled around… Unfortunately work has been fairly all-consuming, and while I had planned to get my ‘year in review’ up at the beginning of January, somehow we’re now in the middle of February. Again..

I shouldn’t be surprised that January (and half of February) disappeared in the blink of an eye – 2015 was a total whirlwind. I look back on the posts that I wrote last year, and most of our adventures feel like a lifetime ago. Gosh, never mind adventures from last year, we were in Margaret River just over a week ago for a friend’s wedding, and even that feels like eons ago!

But back to 2015…

I turned 30 at the beginning of the year, and I didn’t have a meltdown. My celebrations were relaxed and low-key, and involved a lot of food. It was fabulous!

After acting in a role for a little over six months, I won the position in June as part of an external competitive recruitment process. … Shortly after, I was seconded to work on a reform project which kept me busy for the rest of the year!

Mr Posy had been working remotely for his PosyTown employer since we made the big move, but in the middle of the year, he got a job here in Harbour City. I am so proud of him and everything he has achieved, and I am so happy that he got a job where he did. It seems like an amazing place to work, his colleagues are fantastic, and his skills are really valued by his management.

We flew down to Melbourne to visit family, and they paid us a visit when they came to Sydney for a cousin’s wedding. Mr Posy and I took a road trip down the coast to visit my grandparents, and up the coast to visit my aunt and cousins. My dad visited, my brother visited, my aunt and cousin visited, we had friends visit. Our family and friends will always be very important to us, and I love sharing our beautiful city with them.

Mr Posy and I managed to squeeze in an extra-long weekend on Hamilton Island to celebrate our second wedding anniversary – it was nice to just relax and spend some time together, especially after a busy few months settling in to new jobs.

We saw Wicked at the Capitol Theatre, Ed Sheeran at the Entertainment Centre, The Script at All Phones Arena and Taylor Swift at ANZ Stadium – all of which were absolutely brilliant.

In October, we walked a good 32+ kilometres as part of the 7 Bridges Walk, and I vowed I would never walk it again. Until the next day, when I admitted that was probably a lie, and while I wouldn’t be signing up in 2016, I would do the walk again. It was a great way to see Sydney, and it was a fun day out (blisters and all)!

We took more road trips towards the end of the year, exploring beaches we’d never been to up and down the coast. My favourite so far is Hyams Beach, and I am itching to go back for a long weekend.

We finished off the year back down in Melbourne for Christmas with Mr Posy’s family. After two Christmases apart, it was a lot of fun to spend time with Niece and Nephew Posy.

The past few months have been hectic with work, and just the thought of making plans was exhausting, so we had a quiet end to yet another busy year. One day we’ll do the big Harbour City New Year’s Eve, but, this year, the call of my couch was too strong. We said our farewell to 2015 with a couple of movies, a home-cooked dinner, and a couple of glasses of champagne, before walking down the street to get a good view of the (9pm) fireworks. I was asleep before the main event, but woke at midnight to the sound of the fireworks and people cheering. As is becoming our tradition, we were up early on New Year’s Day to catch the first sunrise of 2016 (pictured), and to get in for breakfast at Bills before most of the city woke (and before the last of the party revellers went to bed).

2016, I like you already.

20142013 | 2012  | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

(Belatedly) Looking back on 2014

Sydney

Oh dear, I’ve done it again – I’ve left my ‘year in review’ post until February. I seem to really struggle to get going in January; it’s my birthday month so it still feels like it’s part of the festive season, people at work are all still off on holidays so I find it difficult to take the month seriously, and the past couple of years I’ve been finding it really hard to let go of the old and embrace the new. Now here I am, feeling like I am finally starting the New Year, in the middle of February.

I knew that 2014 had a lot to live up to as 2013 was always going to be a hard year to top – 2013 was the year that Mr Posy and I finally moved to Sydney, the year I started a new job after six years with the same employer, and it was the year that Mr Posy and I finally got married. It was a big year for us, and one that I didn’t want to end. I may have been a little slow in letting go of 2013 and getting into the swing of 2014, but once I finally accepted that a new year was upon me, I really embraced it. While 2013 was a year of change, 2014 was a year of adventure – our first year living in and really exploring Sydney, our first year of marriage, and our first overseas trip in five years.

I’m glad that I kept track of all our adventures through my quarterly blog posts – I’m still amazed at just how much we crammed into 2014. I visited 81 different restaurants/cafes/bars, some of which I returned to again and again, spent 33 mornings at the beach, went to 17 different festivals/events, had 13 visits from family, took 5 road trips, went to 4 concerts, took 2 trips to Melbourne, had 1 adventure getting stuck on public transport underground, and took 1 holiday to Bora Bora. I won’t even go into the sporting events we went to, the movies I saw, the books I read, the special events we celebrated, or my adventures at work.

2014

More than a year on, and we still haven’t really adjusted to living here – we’re up at the crack of dawn every day and we squeeze the most out of our days, as though we’re only here on a holiday and may have to return to reality at any minute, forgetting that we’re here in Sydney for the long haul. By the time Sunday evening rolls around each week I am completely exhausted, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mr Posy and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Bora Bora – parasailing, swimming with turtles, stingrays and sharks, driving an underwater scooter, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, jumping off our overwater bungalow, swimming, drinking, eating. It was an amazing holiday (another post for another day). We’ve been back to reality for nearly four months and I still miss that beautiful island nearly every single day, and can’t wait until we can go back.

We had a quiet and very relaxed end to a busy year. We farewelled 2014 at home with champagne and trashy movies, before taking a stroll down the street to get a good view of the fireworks. The next morning we were up early to catch the first sunrise of 2015 and to get in for a leisurely breakfast at one of my favourite cafes before the rest of the city woke. It is going to be another really great year.

New Year


2013 | 2012  | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

Getting our bake on

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As a kid, we lived pretty remotely for a few years (so much so that I had to do school via correspondence), and during the summer holidays I would fly down (by myself! – so exciting when you’re 7!) to spend a week or two with my nan and pop. I have fond memories of my visits with my grandparents – their house has always felt like home. Other than my younger brother (who was way too young to come along, being five years younger than me), I am the eldest grandchild on my dad’s side by more than ten years, so growing up I had a lot of one-on-one time with my grandparents, and I really treasure the time I spent with them.

Pop and I would play game after game of Draughts (I can count on one hand the number of times I actually beat him, he’s not one of those people that will just let you win!), and he would take me to the golf course so that I could drive the golf carts, to swimming lessons at the local pool, to the pond down the road to feed the ducks and swans, to the cheese-making factory for milkshakes… I would read books, witness new calves born over the back fence, hang out with the girl my age next door, play ping-pong in the rumpus room, and listen to stories about my dad as a kid that Nan and Pop would tell me over meals.

One of the best parts of my visits was when my dad’s youngest sister came to stay while she was on university holidays. My Aunt B would take me along when catching up with her friends – we’d hang out in a cafe, or spend all day at the beach; I couldn’t wait to be a grown-up like my aunt, I adored (and still adore) her. Best of all, she would bake with me. I love water, I love swimming, and I love the beach, but my favourite memories with my Aunt B are dreary days stuck in the house spent baking in Nan’s kitchen. I don’t know if it was the only recipe she knew, or if it was just her favourite treat, but we baked a lot of butterfly cakes over the years.

Me and Aunt B

I know that we won’t always live across the road from Mr Posy’s brother (and ergo, Niece and Nephew Posy), so I try to make the most of this time while I can. Just as I loved making butterfly cakes with my aunt, Niece Posy loves to come over and spend the afternoon baking – and she really loves when our baking involves berries.

The recipe for raspberry and coconut muffins (well, cupcakes…) on the Taste website is one of our favourites.

Ingredients

Missing from picture: baking powder and milk; we used melted butter instead of oil (excuse the toddler feet…).

Dry ingredients

1. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, add sugar and coconut.

Eggs, milk and butter

2. In a small large bowl (to prevent toddler-stirring-splashback), whisk eggs, milk and melted butter.

Mix Ingredients

3. Mix egg/milk/butter into flour mixture until just combined; fold in raspberries.

Oven ready

4. Prepare cupcake cases (should have done this first, whoops!), and carefully spoon mixture into cases. This takes an exceptionally long time when you’re two/three years old, so allow time accordingly.

Snack time

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes; allow to cool slightly, and indulge while watching Ramona and Beezus/Peppa Pig/Angelina Ballerina/Enchanted (whichever takes your fancy).

Niece Posy is a very proficient helper in the kitchen – together we’ve made an assortment of cakes, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, ANZAC Biscuits, and even cake pops. She is also very good with salads (broad bean, chorizo & feta, mmm), and she loves to supervise when we make pasta dishes. Next time we bake, I think butterfly cakes are in order… Now that I think about it, I can’t believe we haven’t yet made them!

Table for One

Today I did something crazy. Something that I wouldn’t normally do. Something that would normally terrify me.

I sat in a cafe (okay, a coffee shop’s seating area in a food court, but c’mon, slim pickings in PosyTown) by myself, while I had a coffee and read the paper.

Sure, this seems like no big deal, people do this all the time, but for me, this is a Very Big Deal.

I am a little skittish when out in crowds. I feel unsettled and exposed. I think the defining moment for me was when I was 16 and waiting by myself at the bus depot after school to catch my bus home – I was randomly approached by a group of four people (that I didn’t know and had never seen before), and punched in the face. When I tried to run into the shopping centre to find my friends to see if they could drive me home, I was attacked again. Having rocks thrown at me and being spat on as I walked home from school when I was eight years old and lived in a remote community probably didn’t help much either. The thought of that incident must be more traumatic than it actually was, however, as my parents tell me I was quite unperturbed about it at the time.

For a long time I was scared of my own shadow. I avoided crowds – shopping centres, markets, festivals, the cinema on a Tuesday or Saturday night. I never went back to that depot and it took me quite some time before I would catch a bus again. To this day I still startle very easily, if a friend sneaks up or somebody quickly races up behind/past me. More than a decade on, while I’m fine when out and about on my own, I’m never really at ease, and I tend to rush through whatever errands I need to run.

I’m not averse to my own company – it has taken time, but I’d go as far to say that, to an extent, I enjoy it. If I spend too much time alone, I do tend to think too much, and can wind up a little emotional – but that is another post for another day. It is a good thing that I enjoy my own company, because Mr Posy works a lot, and there is only so much that you can expect your friends to babysit you on weekends. Now that I’m finished with study, I’ve found myself with a lot of extra spare time on my hands. And I’m starting to go a little bit spare, sitting at home on my own. This morning, I decided that I was going on a coffee date with myself.

It was bliss. I sat and flicked through the newspaper at a leisurely pace while sipping my coffee. I people-watched. I checked Twitter. I had a quick chat with a friend while she waited for her coffee. In that moment, I sat there in my own little world. And I started to make plans for my next solo coffee date – in a cafe with actual crockery.

Days go by

It feels like just yesterday that a friend and I were lamenting over coffee that we were in the middle of March, and now here I find myself at the end of May. We’re almost halfway through this year, which is a scary thought – Mr Posy and I have still have so much to do over the coming months, and not really a whole lot of time. I can’t believe that Christmas is “only” 7 months away!

When I was a little girl, it felt like time would pass by so slowly – I was always in a hurry for the next event, and I would will the days to speed up. Adults would tell me to stop wishing my life away, that time speeds up as you get older and that one day I’d yearn for my youth. I can vividly remember sitting in the mahogany tree across the street from my house with a friend, discussing how adults were crazy, that it just wasn’t possible for time to “speed up”, and that life would be so much better when we were grown up and we could do as we pleased. Now, there are never enough hours in the day, and I wish time would just slow down.

Tomorrow, Mr Posy and I are jetting off down to Sydney for a little break. We’ll be heading about five hours out of Sydney first up for my Pop’s 80th birthday – I’m looking forward to spending time with all my extended family. I saw them all in January for my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary, and the feeling of being in a room full of people that look like you and love you unconditionally… I can’t explain it. Living in PosyTown, so far away from my extended family, means that I’ve only spent a little time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and little cousins over the years, so when I do get to spend time with them, I cherish every second.

After a weekend with my family, we’re heading back to Sydney for a few days, where I am looking forward to catching up with good friends, shopping, and checking out this year’s Vivid Sydney light festival. We were down at the same time last year, so it will be interesting to see what’s in store for us this year.

I have been keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast, and I am looking forward to pulling out my coats and scarves and boots and stockings. What I’m not looking forward to is the niggling worry in the back of my mind about work – I know that my staff are well able to handle any issues that might arise, but it doesn’t make me any less anxious about leaving them. I am also slightly rattled that when I return, it will be June. JUNE!

Travel Snap Tuesday: Boxing Day in Central Park

Cabs on Central Park West

It was Boxing Day, 2007.  It was absolutely freezing outside, but not quite cold enough to snow (something that I still have to stop myself from complaining about), and I was coming down with some kind of holiday-exhaustion-meets-plane-germs lurgy. Not one to rest while on holiday (I wouldn’t want to miss out on anything!), I was adamant that we were spending the day in Central Park. It was on the schedule, after all. I had spent at least six months agonising over every little detail, planning our trip with military precision – we were sticking to that bloody schedule.

We grabbed a map from the Visitor’s Centre (the Dairy), and made our way around the park. I will never forget how cold I was that day. Chilled-to-the-bone cold. I bought a hot coffee from a cart selling snacks and beverages by Wollman Rink, but it barely warmed my insides. I couldn’t understand how it could possibly be so cold, yet not snow. I was freezing – and there was only one thing that kept me going. Squirrels.

Squirrel-spotting

Much to Mr Posy’s dismay, I was more interested in chasing squirrels than I was in the beautiful park that surrounded us. I squealed with glee when one particularly bold squirrel came right up to my shoe, but with nothing to feed him, he quickly ran off.

We hiked around the park, taking in the sights, stopping occasionally to snap a photo when I would spot a squirrel. After a few hours of this (and a lunch break), I began to grow tired. I was sick, I was freezing, and my clothes were damp thanks to the mist and a light sprinkle of rain. I wanted to go back to the hotel room. I wanted a hot shower. I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep.

Mr Posy had other ideas. He wanted to find Strawberry Fields.

We were somewhere in the middle of Central Park, and I had no idea which way was up. I couldn’t work out where we were, or how to get to where Mr Posy wanted to be. I was tired and cold and starting to whinge. But still, Mr Posy was on a mission.

Occasionally I would spot a squirrel, and I’d perk up a little. For a few minutes. My feet were starting to hurt, and I was getting more tired by the minute. I didn’t think we were ever going to find where we needed to be. Or our way out of the park. Eventually we hit Fifth Avenue. Awesome. We were blocks and blocks away from Strawberry Fields. I begged to go back to the hotel. We could come back tomorrow. I just want to sleep. We have the ballet tonight. I don’t feel very well.

Mr Posy would not give in. I began to grow suspicious. And a wee bit nervous.

It took us two hours, but we found Strawberry Fields.

Stalling, I pointed out a vendor selling gloves. “Look! You’ve been saying all day you wanted gloves! These are like mine!” Mr Posy exchanged a few greenbacks for the gloves. He lingered around the Imagine tribute, taking a couple of snaps (I refused – people might think I was a tourist…), until the crowd thinned out a little.

“Miss Posy? Can you take a shot of us both by the tribute?”

I was a gun at taking self-portrait shots and he knew it. I knelt down beside him; my stomach had butterflies. He was on one knee. Was this it?

Imagine – Strawberry Fields

It was here that Mr Posy whispered into my ear, asking me if I could “imagine” spending the rest of my life with him. It was here that I giggled nervously, not really believing that he was asking, asking me, despite knowing that a ring had been in his luggage for over a week. It didn’t feel real.

It was here that I said “Yes”. I no longer felt cold.

Travel Snap Tuesday is ALL Little Miss Moi’s – it’s about sharing a moment in time through a photo (or three). If you want to join in Travel Snap Tuesday, simply post a pic of anywhere you’ve been in Australia or abroad – perhaps even at the end of the street! Head on over to her blog for more (and to share your links)!

Travel Snap Tuesday: Where imagination is the destination

My dear friend Little Miss Moi is with child. She also has a two and a half year old. She works full-time, and her husband is often away for business. And she’s been blogging up a storm. My “I’m too tired to blog, I’m exhausted” excuse suddenly makes me feel pretty darn lazy. It is for this reason that I find myself trawling through travel photographs and trying to string some thoughts together late on a Tuesday night, following a particularly lovely home-cooked roast at my Ma’s.

I don’t consider myself well-travelled. When I was 19, I went on a 4-day cruise to New Zealand with my (at the time) bestie. When we eventually got to Auckland, we stayed the night, and then caught the earliest plane back to Sydney. We were poor uni students, and had spent most of our fun-money on the cruise, in our defence.

Mr Posy and I have holidayed in major cities around Australia. We’ve been to the USA twice, and both trips were spectacular. We still have to trek through Europe, shop in Singapore, lounge around in Bora Bora, ski in Japan, and head back to the US for another visit however!

Our first trip overseas together was pretty magical – first stop: Disneyland, California. Just prior to Christmas, 2007.

I’ll never be able to explain the overwhelming emotion that I felt walking through Downtown Disney, and then through the gates of Disneyland. My eyes welled up, and the tears spilled over. To this day, I can’t decide if I was overwhelmed with happiness, or if it was some kind of indescribable sadness – that I’d never again feel the way I did in that moment. I think too much, I know; Mr Posy tells me this often.

Mr Posy was such a trooper – I dragged him all around the park, forcing him to ride carousels, and making him pose with characters. The Mad Tea Party spinning teacups in Fantasyland were easily my favourite attraction; I dragged Mr Posy on the ride three times in as many days. I spun the teacups round and round, as fast as they would possibly go. I felt a sense of lightness, like the world had disappeared and only Mr Posy and I were left.

We spent three days at Disneyland – on our last day we spent 15 hours wandering around the park. We went on every. single. ride. We ate our bodyweight in $1 churros. And it all finished with a magical crescendo of music and fireworks over the Disney castle.


Travel Snap Tuesday is ALL Little Miss Moi’s – it’s about sharing a moment in time through a photo (or three). If you want to join in Travel Snap Tuesday, simply post a pic of anywhere you’ve been in Australia or abroad – perhaps even at the end of the street! Head on over to LMM’s blog for more!

Another Year Over

One of my favourite things about one year ending and another beginning are the Year-in-Review-esque posts that pop up on blogs around the interwebs.

So, in a similar fashion, I present my wrap-up of 2010 –

A Quarter of a Century

Whenever I’d go through a particularly rough patch when I was younger, I would tell myself that if I could just hold on until I was 25, things would somehow work out.

Twenty-five was this magical age whereby all things that haunted me would no longer hold me in their grip, and I would be okay.

I did hold on. I held on for dear life. I turned 25. And things were okay. Things worked out. I have far more good days than bad, now.

In less than a month I will turn 26. I can’t wait. I love birthdays, I always have – be they mine or somebody else’s. At what age am I supposed to stop getting excited over birthdays and start feeling depressed?

I moved in with my Mister

I finally moved out of the Family Nest (the granny flat my parents had built under their house to keep me at home longer…) and in with Mr Posy. Now we live across the street from my in-laws. It’s been quite the… adventure. You can read more about my move in My Life is a Sitcom.

Niece Posy

Niece Posy

I’m ashamed to admit that when we found out (not long after their wedding) that my BIL and SIL were expecting, I was fairly unmoved by the news. It wasn’t that I didn’t care; I just wasn’t overly interested, particularly as I wasn’t that close to my sister-in-law.

The morning I woke to find out I had a niece, I acted quite cool – but when I laid eyes on Niece Posy in the hospital that evening after work, my heart just melted. My BIL handed Niece Posy to me, and I felt as though I would cry. I never imagined that I could love a tiny being so much.

My SIL has been wonderful at including me in my niece’s life – when I visit, she’ll always take Niece Posy from whoever is holding her at the time, and plonk her in my lap, ensuring that I get plenty of cuddles. Niece Posy’s whole face lights up when she sees me – she has the most amazing smile, and a cuddle from her just makes my day.

I got a promotion

I am extremely lucky to have some amazing people who believe in me, possibly more than I actually believe in myself. I never imagined that I would be in such an amazing position at the age of twenty-five – and knowing that I had the support of some wonderful people really made all the difference when I took the scary step up the corporate ladder into Management in the middle of the year. I feel more confident in my position now, but every day is different, and I’m constantly learning. I have an amazing team, and I actually like going to work.

I finished a triathlon

Tri

I’d often said that I wanted to complete a triathlon, but I’m not sure that I ever really believed that I would. It may have only been a beginners (women only) triathlon, but I felt so proud when I crossed that finish line. … and I actually want to enter another.

The C-word

Finding out that my mum had breast cancer really came as quite a shock. It was a week before I even cried. This is another post for another day, however.

My boys lost the NRL Grand Final

32 – 8. Thirty-two to eight. My boys had a good first half, but they didn’t capitalise on their plays, and then the second half, well… Let’s not talk about that. I sat in the stadium watching on, my heart breaking with every point scored against my team.

I was surrounded by some truly wonderful people

You know who y’all are. At least, I hope you do. I love you, and I feel so blessed to have you in my life.

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In a nutshell, for me, 2010 was a year of growth.

I’ve come a long way, baby.